This story starts in Parma, the homeland of the culinary art, creative city UNESCO of gastronomy 2020/2021 and fulcrum of the Italian Food Valley.
Here, in 2015, Davide Pagani has developed his territorial marketing project “Bike Food Stories”, a startup born to make tourists discover the beauties of Parma by bike.
Davide has an innate passion for bike:
I’ve been riding my bike for a long time – he says – so much that I got my driving license when I was 21 and I haven’t my car yet.
Simply because I don’t consider it necessary. After all, mobility offers several alternatives from car-sharing to train or bike.
For this reason, after I’ve moved from Bergamo to Parma, I decided to buy a bicycle, and in 2013 I made my first journey on the two wheels from Val di Susa to Naples among the Via Francigena. I think that my passion for cycle tourism and slow tourism was born at that moment.
While Davide attends a Master on Culture and Promotion of Territorial Food at Parma University, he had the flash of genius to unite his two passions, food and bicycle, which have become his real work.
I have always been fascinated by the craftsmen at work seeing how a raw material can be transformed into food excellences.
As a gastronome, inspired by the example of Edoardo Raspelli, I did not miss the opportunity to track down interesting local realities always riding my bike.
The rest is the story I tell every day through Bike Food Stories!
Among the pages of these stories, there is space for local companies and actors, with whom Davide has chosen to network, which shows to tourists passionate and curious, what lies behind the creation of products and excellence of the territory.
After a nice ride between Parma and the picturesque towns around it, travelers have the opportunity to visit the places of production and “reward” with the delicacies of tradition.
This is why the link between the two elements that characterize Bike Food Stories emerged in a completely natural way, as Davide tells us.
How long does it take before opening a good form of Parmigiano Reggiano? At least 18 months! And for a good Prosciutto di Parma? If you buy it at 16 months of ripening, you may still feel the taste of fresh meat. Not to mention the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar that for a maturation that can be defined as such, needs at least 12 years. In short, you have to be patient and know how to wait!
The same goes for the bike. To travel 20 kilometers by bike takes from an hour to an hour and a half, depending on your speed. By car 15 minutes.
It is what happens in this period that makes an experience authentic and unique.
Slow tourism on two wheels, therefore, intended as a way of escape, as a key to enjoying all the beauty that the territory can offer without haste, but with the desire and awareness to have the opportunity to capture details and elements that remain unknown to those who have no patience.
Who are the people willing to take up this challenge to give themselves an experience of slowness?
They are people from all over the world – Davide tells us – and this is a good fortune because staying in Parma I am discovering cultures, anecdotes, and places from people who come from every corner of the planet.
I write down everything and hope one day to be able to travel and follow the advice of my own guests.
The unstoppable process of globalization has created a new human need. The contemporary traveler seeks peace and slowness to live new experiences that allow him to enter into contact with different cultures. Try to imagine the enthusiasm of a Japanese tourist when he sees the realization of a form of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Amazement is truly priceless!
As a budding project of a university student, Bike Food Stories has become a startup that not only enhances territorial excellence, with the proposal of authentic tourist experiences but encourages sustainable mobility through the use of cycling by promoting slow tourism.
A philosophy that involves an increasing number of tourists and that pushes us to ask David what will be the future evolution of Bike Food Stories.
At the moment I am alone and the ideas in the head are many. But before you step out of the way you have to find the right travel companion, the person with whom to invest time and energy to develop Bike Food Stories.
The important thing is never to stop having dreams because they help to stay afloat even in difficult moments.
We need to be resilient and proactive to capture and exploit the opportunities we encounter daily, without forgetting the importance of creating synergies to achieve our goal.